Gransnet forums



(20 Posts)
Bobbi65 Mon 09-Sep-19 23:43:41

My son told me recently he and my DIL are divorcing. They have 1 child, my only granddaughter, 5 years old. Since she was a baby I have watched her a lot and we have a very close relationship. I suspected things were not right when my DIL started going to the gym every night, at dinner time, getting tatoos and piercings. I feel taken advantage of since she had me watching GD all the while she was planning this. My son planing on sharing custody 50:50. I week here, one week there. Currently I pick up GD from school 4 days a week. They are still living together till the divorce is final. I feel not it is not my responsibility to help her now that they are divorcing. Of course I would be there for emergencies, but she needs to know what the real world is like. (She was a stay at home mom till GD started kindergarten. ). How do I approach this. Should I slowly wean her off her dependency on me, have her find a sitter? Her parents dont help her at all. Her complaint about my son was he worked too much. No cheating, drinking, anything like that. She just wants to have more fun. My son said it’s my decision whether I want to continue to help her. I think he wants her to take more responsibility, since GD was with me more than my DIL before kindergarten. Ohhh. Got that off my chest. Lol.

Feelingmyage55 Tue 10-Sep-19 00:08:26

May I suggest you contact MNHQ to have your granddaughter’s name removed from the post.

If you want to keep up your relation ship with your DGD, perhaps you should see her with your DS. However, maybe you should think that when looking after her, it is just about your bond and time together, and not think of it as helping/not wanting to help your DIL. Be wary because, this might pass and your S and DIL might reconcile especially if no one else is involved, that you cannot take judgement of your DIL back and do not (I presume) want to alienate her and cause her to keep you from your GD. This will be hard as she is hurting your son but think long term if you can.

rosecarmel Tue 10-Sep-19 00:24:56

I understand you not wanting to pick up her slack- Totally! But I would hold off until the divorce is final- You've a healthy, functioning routine in place-

mumofmadboys Tue 10-Sep-19 06:57:31

Do preserve your anonymity asap! I think for your GD's sake you should continue to help out at least for the time being. She is the most important person in the equation at the moment. Hope things improve for you all.

Starlady Tue 10-Sep-19 07:27:17

Sorry about the divorce, Bobbi. I agree w/ rosecarmel, I understand your feelings, but I would wait to change anything till the dust settles.

Not sure if you're saying you don't want to pick up GD from school at all anymore or only when she's w/ your DS (dear son). As much as I get how you feel, I think I'd want to help keep GD's life as "normal" as possible. She will be going through plenty of changes as it is. Your picking her up four times a week, whether it's "mum's week" or "dad's" may be one of the few constants in her life. Please think about that.

I know you're angry at DIL and want to teach her a lesson about "the real world." And maybe she'll accept the change as part and parcel of the divorce. Or perhaps she'll be angry in return. But how about GD? You say for years, she was w/ you more than DIL. If you drop her now, she may be deeply hurt. Is it worth it? Only you can decide.

In time, DIL may decide to pull away from you, especially if a new man enters her life, and/or as GD gets older and doesn't need anyone to pick her up. Then you'll definitely be free of that job (and may miss it). Perhaps you should enjoy the time w/ GD for now? Again, only you can decide.

Whatever choices are made, I hope it all works out for the best.

sodapop Tue 10-Sep-19 07:31:27

I agree with all Starlady says. Your granddaughter is the most important person in all this and needs you to be there for her.

Humbertbear Tue 10-Sep-19 07:47:21

I would have thought that collecting your GD from school was the best way to preserve your relationship with her. Before you look round she will be at secondary school and not need (or want picking up). Why not continue to enjoy her company and your relationship with her.

FlexibleFriend Tue 10-Sep-19 07:49:43

I'd avoid taking sides and would have a chat with your Dil about what her plans are post divorce. She may want you to continue looking after your GD but then again she might not. I'd want continuity of care for my GC and would want to stay on good terms with her mum.

SpanielNanny Tue 10-Sep-19 07:50:56

I’m sorry the family is going through so much stress and upheaval bobbi , divorce is never easy for anybody involved and rarely a decision taken lightly.

I’m a little bit confused about whether you are talking about before or after the divorce is finalised. Do you no longer want to pick your gd up when she’s in your dil’s care, or do you plan on stopping sooner? If it’s the latter have you considered this may impact your son? I’m assuming both parents now work? Whilst they’re still living together they’d need to take equal responsibility for your gd, you could find it affects your sons work too. Half the time it would only be fair if he rearranged his work to collect her (especially now they’re divorcing, it’s unfair to expect your dil to be only one to sacrifice her earnings/career).

It’s also worth considering that if you decline to help your dil, you may not see your gd at all on her mum’s weeks. (I acknowledge how much you have care of your gd, so understand that this could be a very welcome break for you!) but be mindful that this decision could literally cut your time with you gd in half.

This also doesn’t take in to account how confused your gd will be if you all of sudden just stop collecting her.

I’d also be wary about intentionally antagonising your dil. For half of the year, she will be your only point of contact with your gd. She is less likely to want to accommodate you, if you’ve intentionally made her life difficult.

Daisymae Tue 10-Sep-19 08:49:19

I would make every effort to keep on good terms with both parties. She's the mother of your grandchild and is going to be in your life for the foreseeable future. Not really up to you to pass judgement, surely the grand parents role is to provide security and stability in an uncertain world.

PamelaJ1 Tue 10-Sep-19 12:04:36

I don’t feel I can give advice about this but what I do know is, I would move heaven and earth to keep in contact with my GC if I was in this situation.This little one needs as much love and support as possible.
I suppose that is advice!

knickas63 Tue 10-Sep-19 12:36:26

I think that your GD will benefit from the security of a continued routine. Obviously you don't want to be taken advantage of, but she must come first for all three of you.

BradfordLass72 Wed 11-Sep-19 05:35:01

That's a rather bitter, judgemental post.
I hope your wee grand-daughter doesn't pick up on your clear disapproval of her Mummy.

Why did you feel 'taken advantage of' when asked to look after your grandchild, just because her mother did something you didn't approve of? Don't you enjoy being with the little one?

I'm shocked to read 'it's not my responsibility to help her now' after telling us how much she needs help and support.
Help only on your terms then?

'She needs to know what the real world is like' - in other words, you want her to suffer.

If not, what does that mean?
I'm sure she knows only too well what the real world is like. She's already had a hard time, been lonely because her hard-working husband didn't understand she needed him at home sometimes and a chance to have a social life.
"All work and no play...." etc

Isn't going through divorce bad enough without her mil turning against her?

How can she have been a 'stay at home Mom' until kindergarten if you were looking after your grand-child most of the time?

Please stop judging this desperately unhappy girl; don't run her down either in your grand-daugher's hearing or to your son.

All three of them need unconditional love right now, plus sympathy and understanding.

Can you find it in your heart to be the kind of mother/mother-in-law/grandma, they all need?

rosecarmel Wed 11-Sep-19 14:59:59

Sometimes when a person bites off more than they can chew, what they express can sound like bitterness, but it's depletion-

M0nica Wed 11-Sep-19 15:45:05

Forget about the parents, just think about your DGD. Poor little lass, her parents have broken up she is going to be pulled from pillar to post. She is the innocent victim.

Do everything you can to make sure that your routine with her stays unchanged, so that she she has some continuity in an otherwise changing world, changes for which she has no responsibility.

You are her anchor. the rest count for nought.

emmasnan Wed 11-Sep-19 16:07:59

When my son and DIL seperated ( they share her care) I continued to have my granddaughter after school and in the holidays and now that she is a young teenager she still asks to come to ours some days, as usual.
It kept a routine she was used to going and built a close relationship with us, which meant if she wasn't coping well or something was bothering her, she could talk to us.

agnurse Wed 11-Sep-19 16:14:47

Keep in mind that while your son and DIL are getting divorced, you aren't obliged to pick sides. Your continued relationship (or lack thereof) with DIL is, TBH, none of your son's business.

I agree with PPs that disrupting your GD's routine probably isn't in her best interest at this point. That will likely be the one constant she has at a time when everything is changing. The only reason I'd suggest stopping now would be if DIL indicates that she'd like you to stop.

Summerlove Wed 11-Sep-19 16:44:45

It’s your decision if you don’t want to help out on your ex dils weeks, but be prepared, She might not be able to get somebody every other week which would Mean that She and your son would have to hire somebody for the full time, and you could lose out then.

As far as “teaching her a lesson”, that is absolutely not your place, and comes across as petty. Live and let live, Do not carry resentment forward. It’s not good for your health.

luluaugust Wed 11-Sep-19 16:58:08

For your GD's sake I would try and keep things as they are, for a while you may be her security. You also need to keep your DIL on side as she could try and cut contact, don't give her a reason. I wonder if you have the whole story as getting a tattoo and visiting the gym don't usually lead to Divorce surely?

rosecarmel Wed 11-Sep-19 19:05:06

Bobbi65, with two parents working, they can provide more for their daughter- Your care has enabled them to do so- So I wouldn't be too quick to stop minding the child while the parents are working-

But if you are minding the child while they are at work as well as afterwards you are enabling the parents to be irresponsible- This is their child raise, not yours-

Learning to be a responsible mother or father is in the best interest of the children-